More than a dozen families of Diara village in the Shahpur area of Kangra district had a miraculous escape after the walls of the Raheja micro hydel power project collapsed on Tuesday, causing a flood in Gaj rivulet, a tributary of the Beas river.
The walls of the dam caved in when project officials released water into the dam after work on increasing its storage capacity had been completed.
No causalties were reported and a dozen labourers who were trapped at the project site were rescued. District administration officials also sent its rescue teams to the scene.
The flood waters washed away two huts of labourers built on the riverside and also entered fields, causing considerable damage. Water also entered the project site.
Meanwhile, chief of the Gharoh panchayat, Hansraj, alleged the dam’s walls were raised in an arbitrary manner by the project authorities. “The walls were raised by one metre without any supporting structure, violating construction norms,” he claimed.
Area residents also demanded the ‘no objection certificate’ (NOC) given to the power project be cancelled.
Dharamsala subdivisional magistrate Harish Gajju said his officials had earlier warned the project officials to repair the dam. “The power project has defied court orders and action is being taken against the project authorities under section 188 of the Indian Penal Code.”
HP State Forest Development Corp vice-chairman Kewal Singh Mankotia also visited the affected area and assured the residents he would take up the matter with the chief minister.